Can Christ stand the Test?

I’m a physicist and a Christian. I don’t think I’m particularly unusual. Faith, like everything else is only a useful model of life if it works in practice in my view.

Evidence that Jesus rose from the dead is brilliantly explained in the book Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison who approached the situation as a lawyer investigating the witnesses and evidence. For example, taking just one piece of evidence, what happened to the dead body? Had the authorities hidden it or the guards stolen it, they would have produced it immediately the disciples began to preach the resurrection. If the disciples had stolen it, they would have been very unlikely to die for a faith they knew to be a sham, and all bar one of the original disciples was indeed martyred for their faith, many in horrible ways. If Jesus had not actually died, he would have still had major wounds and been unlikely to look like a conqueror of death. Rather he would have needed a long period of recovery. In any case the Romans were experts at killing and unlikely to mistake living for dead. This kind of evidence is compelling once you start to look at it with an open mind and I found it very rationally satisfying.

Having said that as a scientist I wanted to experiment myself with faith so I gave myself six months to believe everything the bible said and to do everything the bible said to do, so I could find out whether it was true or not. Truth for me as a physicist means Does it work? Lots of the bible is written in this style – if you do X, then Y will follow. Pretty easy to test, if you really want to, but obviously you need to believe it completely for those six months, because that is what faith is, then you can look back and see whether it has made a difference. I kept careful lists of what I’d done and what had happened, what I had prayed for or said to God in prayer and what had happened. I found it worked, by which I mean the Y things happened. God proved Himself to me in this way. It was personal to me, but I certainly would not describe it as being an emotional process in any way, shape or form. It was rational and factual. I didn’t feel anything when I prayed, but I spoke out loud and noted it down, read the bible and noted things to do and how God would act to follow that action of mine. Then I compared the bible statement / prediction with what actually happened.

I’d challenge any of you unbelievers out there to try it for yourself and see what conclusions you come to for yourself. I’m on Twitter if you want to keep in touch with me during your experiment.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Can Christ stand the Test?

  1. Hi Kurt

    Good to hear from you.

    I’m not sure it would be very interesting to see ALL the details! Put simply, I highlighted a Bible in different colours to highlight practical instructions – things to do, and then the blessing which should follow that particular action. I checked things out for myself in the Bible although I also read Christian books as well as the Bible.

    Then add a simple reporters notebook with some columns for item prayed for and columns for whether anything had happened yet on that item. That’s about it – until I found it had to be in God’s will for it to be prayed for and happen. Finding out what was in God’s will slowed me down a bit.

    Of course after a while I came across various things I needed to believe, for example Romans 10:8 and that was a new thing to investigate as well. I had a strange experience round this verse as I saw God taking Jesus out of the tomb and restoring life to Him.

    After about six months it was going well. I was even quite enjoying it. There was a land rover being refurbished by the church which was due to go to a missionary in Madagascar. This counted as God’s will to me and I prayed it would be a blessing and get there safely etc. So did the church. It was clearly God’s will for this land rover to go there.

    We had the handover ceremony with the missionary but then the next day someone broke into the locked garage and STOLE the land rover. I was gutted. I’d prayed by the rules. It made me realise how much I’d come to rely on this Christian way by now.

    I hung on for about a week expecting the land rover to be found, but nothing happened. The theft was on Crimewatch! After that I gave up and decided there wasn’t a God after all, since it didn’t work in practice.

    Two weeks later (TWO WEEKS!) a local firm donated TWO brand new land rovers, because they had heard about the theft on Crimewatch. So the missionary got one and so did the bishop in Madagascar! And I…

    Well, I had to go back to God and say…sorry.

    Then He gave me another It was like I was looking back down a valley from a mountain top. And I saw that in this journey there would be more valleys, times to trust Him followed by more mountaintop views where it all fell into place. And I said I would trust Him in the valleys from now on.

    That was in 1985.

    That’s the experiment, really. I found compelling evidence which is totally personal to me.

    He is amazing, actually. It gives me goosebumps to relive it!

    Thanks for your question, Kurt.
    Blessings
    Ambling Saint

    • Thanks for your answer Andrew. Very intriguing. By the way, I’m just the kind of guy who would like to see every detail of your experiment. If the Holy Spirit leads you to, I’d love to have a look at photo copies of your documents. Or scanned attachments in an email. My email is kurt@kurtbennettbooks.com if you’re interested.

      I’m enjoying your blog, and I very much appreciate your response to my question.

      Your brother and co-laborer for Him,

      kurt

      • Hi Kurt

        For some reason the word ‘vision’ disappeared twice in my story in my previous post.

        As for the notebooks, I don’t think I would still have them as they didn’t seem particularly important at the time.

        I can dig out the newspaper article on the land rover though for you, about the dedication service. I still have that.

        In my experience people are more interested in their own journeys (and how to make it work for them) than in the details of other people’s evidence, but you are very welcome. I don’t know how to add a photo into a comment, so it might have to be a new post, but I’ll let you know.

        Please do tell me your story too.

        You might like my book: Places of Abiding in Jesus -on kindle. It’s a couple of dollars which is the cheapest deal I could get from Amazon. I love your copyright post.

        I don’t know which country you live, here is the USA link:

        http://www.amazon.com/Places-Abiding-Experiencing-Christian-ebook/dp/B009088ASC/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1345705127&sr=8-7&keywords=Places+of+abiding

        And here the UK link:

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Places-Abiding-Experiencing-Christian-ebook/dp/B009088ASC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1345705858&sr=1-1

        I’d love you to write a review of it if you get time. Is your Traveller book available on kindle? How do I get a copy?

        Blessings

        Ambling Saint

      • I talk with 20 and 30-somethings fairly often and many of them are interested in documented, empirical evidence. I thought your notebook might be helpful in my discussions with them about God and Christ.

        I just bought your book from Amazon 2 minutes ago, BTW.

        The Traveler and the Chaplain hardcover is available on Amazon, or you can download the PDF on my website if you want. Just go to the Traveler and the Chaplain page on the menu bar at the top. The price is $5.99 but it’s set up so you can just download it for free and pay whatever you can afford.

        I’m happy to write a review of your book but I have to confess, it’s at the bottom of my long reading list. I am intrigued though, and very much looking forward to reading Places of Abiding with Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s